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4.7 out of 5 stars
28
Hospice [VINYL]
Format: Vinyl|Change
Price:£25.61+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 16 October 2009
First, The xx gave us the key to unlocking the age of understatement on their eponymous debut, and now The Antlers are here to confirm the power of restraint. Pete Silberman and band form a simple 5-piece. Hospice's 8, one-word tracks are bookended by an instrumental, post-rock prologue and swelling and eye-welling epilogue. Their influences are clean to the point of clinical.

It would have been an easy but poor tribute to have upped the level of Hallmark-like sentiment on Hospice, given its externalisation in music form of the raw emotion felt from losing a loved one. The concentrated catharsis contained in the washing cymbals of `Thirteen' are particularly poignant. Silberman's falsetto flits from an Antony Hegarty-like, soulful cry to a Wild Beasts-like, operatic mew.

Hospice is the sound of simple done sickeningly well. `Atrophy' and `Bear' lift the same sense of piano-built purpose as Spiritualized's stately Songs in A&E. That Silberman mumbles parts of his falsetto on these tracks is all the more compelling. Extended, shimmering instrumentals give way to chilly confessions that evoke the spirit of Bon Iver's For Emma Forever Ago. The hard-hitting key changes in `Sylvia' bring to mind Arcade Fire's best emotive flourishes. The haunting, choral harmonies that drift around the cavernous Hospice seem like embracing angels.

Silberman's trump cards, held against a maudlin backdrop of shivering sorrow, are the rays of sunlight which punctuate the clouds. The unbridled optimism that, for example, cracks the echoing gloom in `Two' is testament to what it is to be human. Hospice is much more than just music. It is the meeting of long-lost friends, the loss of a first love, the desire to be with one's family and that feeling of being lost. We enter the world and most probably leave it in the hospital, and all the moments in between now have a fitting soundtrack.
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on 24 April 2014
I really didn't expect this to be great but it's beautiful, moving, eerily sung, and a fantastic concept for an album. Also surprisingly great to sing along to.
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on 11 October 2009
Superficially, this cd is nothing like Burial's Untrue or Neutral Milk Hotel's From the Aeroplane over the Sea, yet the raw emotion it displays moved me the way those two pieces of music did when I first heard them. It is tender and charged with pain and hurt in the way it deals with losing a loved one.

If there are comparisons to be made, perhaps Anthony and the Johnson's Hope There's Someone comes close to the sound, or lyrically, Sufjan Stevens' Casimir Pulaski Day. In the end, though, comparisons are pointless for, with Hospice, Peter Silberman has created something quite unique.

The music is sometimes almost ambient, sometimes reaching unbearable crescendos that reflect his inner state. The lyrics are outstanding, poignant, heartfelt, exploring the feelings of guilt and inadequacy that the healthy feel confronted with someone they love who is sick and in pain. This description, of course, makes Hospice sound like a bit of a downer! But it is not. It is uplifting and staggeringly beautiful. It celebrates life. I felt oddly euphoric listening to tracks like Thirteen and Two and Wake the first time, even though there was a lump in my throat.

Music as powerful as this seldom comes along. Give it a listen. For my money, Hospice by the Antlers is a masterpiece.
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on 15 September 2009
This is not an easy listen in the slightest. It opens with a fuzzy swell that feels like the start of something deeply profound. The album pushes through so many different emotions but all of them have a mournful tint thanks to Peter Silberman's breathy and cracking voice crawling out of the centre of the noise. It comes as no surprise that emotion on this scale is the result of absolute tragedy. It is simply the soundtrack to a person's death written after they have gone and every note drips with the pain. It is powerful and rewarding.
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on 3 March 2015
Quality band but a bit depressing on this CD
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on 29 September 2011
Having a very close friend pass away from gastric cancer, I was introduced to this album by another friend who saw how low I was, and initally changed his mind and didn't want to in case it tipped me over the edge.

Instead it was a liberation as the tears streamed down my cheeks. When Silberman sang on Wake :"Don't let them tell you, "you deserved it"", I found myself shouting along the words.

The ache from Kettering was familiar until i realised the series "Chuck" had sampled it and I had loved the tune (with the words faded out) but realised the lyrics imparted far greater power.

There is a strength to every word, every chord. Thank you for showing me someone else knew the same pain.
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on 6 November 2011
You should listen to this album from the first track to the last. That's the best way to appreciate Antlers and their unique music
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on 8 October 2016
Absolutely amazing
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on 23 March 2016
its good
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on 22 October 2016
awesome
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